AN OVERVIEW OF MISSIONS
Throughout old Jerusalem, various types and
styles of archways predominate the architecture of the buildings. An archway
is like an inverted "U" made up of blocks that arch together at the top.
The strength of the arch is a wedge-shaped stone called the keystone at
the very top of the arch. The keystone is the stone that keeps an archway
The elements of Christianity form an
arch of triumph (The deity of Christ; the blood atonement; salvation by
grace; the blessed hope of the believer).
The resurrection of Christ is the KEYSTONE
Christianity. All the building blocks of Christianity are held in place
by this one stone. If Jesus did not raise from the dead, everything else
The Local Church is a direct result of Christís
resurrection. You cannot explain the existence of the church apart from
the fact that Jesus arose triumphantly from the grave.
THE PRODUCTS OF THE RESURRECTION: The resurrection brought several new
things into being that never existed before. These things cannot be accounted
for apart from the resurrection of Christ: The New Testament; The Local
Church; The "Lordís Day."
To commission something means to grant certain
powers and authority to carry out a particular task or duty. For example,
all ocean going ships are commissioned. When a ship is taken out of active
service, it is "decommissioned."
THE COMMISSION OF THE CHURCH: What were Jesusí parting words before ascending
back to heaven. A personís LAST WORDS are usually very significant. If
you want to know what is closest to the heart of Jesus, listen to His last
instructions as He commissioned His disciples, who became the foundation
of the local church, with Christ being the chief corner stone (Eph. 2:20).
The local church is like a ship. We call it
"The Old Ship of Zion." Jesus gave this "ship" a commission. He gave no
commission to any other organization. All other religious organizations
are operating without divine sanction. The local church is Godís appointed
agency through which He works today. (Read Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:21).
"The Old Ship of Zion" hasnít been "decommissioned!"
It still has a job to do.
What exactly is our commission? We are commissioned
to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to win the lost and establish
them in a growing relationship with the Lord (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16;
Luke 24:45-47; Acts 1:8).
Christís commission of the church is stated in five different
places in the New Testament. In each instance, He give a separate element
of our commission.
I. (Mt. 28:18-20) The Spreading of His Programó
A. Win people
to Christ. Our mission is not reformation, but regeneration.
B. Baptize them.
C. Teach them
to do likewiseó Reproduction
II. (Mk. 16:15-16) The Subject of our Preaching ó Gospel
A. Christ died
for our sins. His death.
B. He was buried
C. He rose from
What does it mean to believe? = Trust.
E. A warning
to those who reject the Gospel.
III. (Luke 24:46-48) The Security / Supply of His Power.
A. People excuse
themselves saying, "I canít!" Hey, neither can I!
B. Godís business
requires Godís power.
C. There is
a price for that power.
IV. (Acts 1:8) The Strategy of His Plan. Big task. Where do you
start? Start where you are.
A. Start with
YOUR Jerusalem (your house, family). Start with yourself!
ILLUS.: Andrew got saved and won his brother Peter.
B. Then reach
out to your friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors.
C. My first
convert- a girlfriend who became my wife.
D. We need to
make Christ known every way we can.
V. (John 20:21) The Serenity of His Peace.
A. No need to
B. He is with
If you want to enrich days, plant flowers;
If you want to enrich years, plant trees;
If you want to enrich Eternity, plant the Gospel in the hearts of people.
Isnít is strange that the thing that is closest to the heart of Jesus
is farthest from the heart of some Christians? Can you explain that?